National Security, Technology & Law Working Group

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Analysis and Commentary

Executive Branch Lawyering In Time Of Crisis

by Bob Bauer, Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

We have complementary articles about the proper conception of lawyering for the president in times of crisis in the most recent issue of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics that we thought might be of interest to Lawfare readers.

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Tech Giants At The Crossroads

by Jon D. Michaelsvia Aegis Paper Series
Monday, July 30, 2018

Major technology companies find themselves at the center of two critical and vexing conversations. First is the digital public square conversation: millions of citizen-consumers wholly depend on these companies’ goods, services, and platforms to remain socially, politically, and economically engaged. Second is the deputization conversation: those same companies are often obligated to facilitate or intensify state surveillance over citizen-consumers. Thinking about the two conversations in combination—and thus viewing the tech firms as both victims and perpetrators in inherently unequal, imbalanced relationships—presents opportunities for a grand regulatory bargain that fixes the pair of problematic links in the broader chain of private-public relations. 

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An Intelligence Reserve Corps To Counter Terrorist Use Of The Internet

by Daniel Bymanvia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

This papers assesses the creation of an Intelligence Reserve Corps (IRC) to counter terrorist use of the Internet. US government agencies are poorly equipped to handle cutting-edge technological problems and they often devote resources too late, giving terrorists a window in which to exploit new technologies. An IRC, modeled loosely after military reserve programs, would bring in part-time government personnel with a technical background and increase private sector awareness of government needs. Many companies, however, would not support participation, and cultural and other differences are likely to limit progress.

Featured

Uncomfortable Questions In The Wake Of Russia Indictment 2.0 And Trump’s Press Conference With Putin

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, July 16, 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his Justice Department/FBI team deserve congratulations for doing their job of figuring out in concrete detail what the Russians did in the 2016 election campaign and telling the American people about it—now in an indictment and perhaps later, and in more detail, in a report. Last week’s indictment might also portend, as the Lawfare crew implied, a tightening of the criminal-conspiracy noose to include Americans, perhaps some with connections to the Trump campaign.

Analysis and Commentary

Supplement To Curtis A. Bradley & Jack L. Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases And Materials (6th ed. 2017)

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Monday, July 2, 2018

The Summer 2018 Supplement for Bradley & Goldsmith, Foreign Relations Law: Cases and Materials (6th ed. 2017) is now available online. These materials cover, among many other things, the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Hawaii (the “travel ban” case), which is excerpted with questions; the Court’s decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank concerning corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute; the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; legal issues raised by U.S. missile strikes against Syria; President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; and the debates and litigation concerning “sanctuary jurisdictions.”

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Internet Platforms: Observations on Speech, Danger, and Money

by Daphne Kellervia Aegis Paper Series
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Policymakers increasingly ask Internet platforms like Facebook to “take responsibility” for material posted by their users. Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders seem willing to do so. That is in part a good development. Platforms are uniquely positioned to reduce harmful content online. But deputizing them to police users’ speech in the modern public square can also have serious unintended consequences. This piece reviews existing laws and current pressures to expand intermediaries’ liability for user-generated content. It discusses three ways that poorly designed laws can do damage—to First Amendment-protected online speech, national security, and the economy.

Featured

Strengths Become Vulnerabilities: How A Digital World Disadvantages The United States In Its International Relations

by Jack Goldsmith, Stuart Russellvia Lawfare Blog
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

We have a new essay in the Hoover Aegis series called “Strengths Become Vulnerabilities: How a Digital World Disadvantages the United States in its International Relations.”  It seeks to explain why the United States is struggling to deal with the “soft” cyber operations that have been so prevalent in recent years: cyberespionage and cybertheft, often followed by strategic publication; information operations and propaganda; and relatively low-level cyber disruptions such as denial-of-service and ransomware attacks. 

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Strengths Become Vulnerabilities

by Jack Goldsmith, Stuart Russellvia Aegis Paper Series
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

This essay seeks to explain why the United States is struggling to deal with the “soft” cyberoperations that have been so prevalent in recent years: cyberespionage and cybertheft, often followed by strategic publication; information operations and propaganda; and relatively low-level cyber disruptions such as denial-of-service and ransomware attacks. The main explanation for the struggle is that constituent elements of U.S. society—a commitment to free speech, privacy, and the rule of law, innovative technology firms, relatively unregulated markets, and deep digital sophistication—create asymmetric weaknesses that foreign adversaries, especially authoritarian ones, can exploit. We do not claim that the disadvantages of digitalization for the United States outweigh the advantages, but we present reasons for pessimism.

Analysis and Commentary

OLC’s Meaningless 'National Interests' Test For The Legality Of Presidential Uses Of Force

by Jack Goldsmith, Curtis A. Bradleyvia Lawfare
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) published a legal opinion May 31 that explained the basis for its oral advice in April that President Trump had the authority under Article II of the Constitution to direct airstrikes against Syria. 

Analysis and Commentary

A Smorgasbord Of Views On Self-Pardoning

by Jack Goldsmithvia Lawfare
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

"I have the absolute right to PARDON myself," tweeted President Trump, a few days ago. The president was presumably talking about a self-pardon for federal crimes already committed, not state crimes and not future crimes. Is he right? No president has ever tried to self-pardon and constitutional text does not speak overtly to the issue and there is no judicial precedent on point.

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Aegis on Lawfare

 
Aegis explores legal and policy issues at the intersection of technology and national security.  Published in partnership with Lawfare, it features long-form essays of the working group, examines major new books in the field, and carries podcasts and videos or the working group’s events in Washington and Stanford.

Security by the Book Podcasts

The Security by the Book podcast series features monthly interviews with authors of important, new national security-oriented books and publications.

In the News

Security By The Book: Habeas Corpus In Wartime With Amanda Tyler

Monday, May 14, 2018
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Security by the Book: Habeas Corpus in Wartime with Amanda Tyler" on Monday, May 14, 2018 from 5:00pm - 6:30pm EST.

Event
In the News

A Discussion Of Tim Maurer's New Book: Cyber Mercenaries

Thursday, April 5, 2018
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "A Discussion of Tim Maurer's New Book: Cyber Mercenaries" on Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 5:30pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event
In the News

Security By The Book Featuring Amy Chua

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Security by the Book featuring Amy Chua" on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event
In the News

Security By The Book: Max Boot's New Book, "The Road Not Taken"

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Security by the Book: Max Boot's new book, 'The Road Not Taken,'" on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event
In the News

Listening In: Cybersecurity In An Insecure Age

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Listening In: Cybersecurity in an Insecure Age" on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event
Featured

The Internationalists: How A Radical Plan To Outlaw War Remade The World

Monday, September 11, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World" on Monday, September 11, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event

Technology Giants, Sovereign Power, And Surveillance

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution’s Working Group on National Security, Technology, and Law hosts a conference on July 26, 2017 titled, Technology Giants, Sovereign Power, and Surveillance.

Event
In the News

Destined For War: Can America And China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

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In the News

The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, And Plutocrats Are Transforming The Marketplace Of Ideas

Thursday, June 15, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas" on Thursday, June 15, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST.

Event
In the News

Oppose Any Foe: The Rise Of America's Special Operations Forces

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Hoover Institution, Washington DC

The Hoover Institution hosted "Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America's Special Operations Forces" on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm EST. 

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The Working Group on National Security, Technology, and Law brings together national and international specialists with broad interdisciplinary expertise to analyze how technology affects national security and national security law and how governments can use that technology to defend themselves, consistent with constitutional values and the rule of law.

The group will focus on a broad range of interests, from surveillance to counterterrorism to the dramatic impact that rapid technological change—digitalization, computerization, miniaturization, and automaticity—are having on national security and national security law. Topics include cybersecurity, the rise of drones and autonomous weapons systems, and the need for and dangers of state surveillance. The group’s output will also be published on the Lawfare blog, which covers the merits of the underlying legal and policy debates of actions taken or contemplated to protect the nation and the nation’s laws and legal institutions.

Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes are the cochairs of the National Security, Technology, and Law Working Group.